Jones helps Spurs overcome injuries, Pistons to end skid

Jan 6, 2023, 5:27 AM | Updated: 8:19 pm

San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones (33) drives to the basket past Detroit Pistons center Jalen Duren...

San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones (33) drives to the basket past Detroit Pistons center Jalen Duren (0) and guard Jaden Ivey, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tre Jones had 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs overcame injuries to their two leading scorers to beat the Detroit Pistons 121-109 on Friday night, snapping a three-game skid.

Spurs forward Keldon Johnson did not return after injuring his left hamstring with four minutes left in the first half. Guard Devin Vassell was inactive with a knee injury.

“I feel like we had to grind that one out a little bit more,” Jones said. “It was hectic there for a little bit, but we had to come together with the next man up mentality to pull off a big for us to start off the new year.”

Despite those absences, the Spurs still managed to extend their lead to double figures in the third quarter thanks to a collective effort.

Romeo Langford added 15 points, Malaki Brannan had 14 and Jakob Poeltl had 11 points and 16 rebounds as San Antonio won for the first time since Dec. 29.

Brannan had seven points in the final 5:19, including a 3-pointer with 2:24 remaining after Detroit closed to 112-104.

“When Malaki made the big one down the stretch, that sealed the game,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “He stepped right up. Short clock, and he knocked it down. I thought that was pretty good on his part.”

Coming off a 122-119 victory at defending NBA champion Golden State on Wednesday night, Detroit trailed throughout in a battle between two of league’s worst records.

Bojan Bogdanovic had 21 points and Jaden Ivey added 20 points for the Pistons.

“We didn’t dictate the ball at the start of the first half,” Ivey said. “Feel like it comes early, early in the game, you’ve got to get in a rhythm defensively. Just the first half we had some lapses that made them more comfortable late game. That’s on us to figure out how to put us in better position defensively. That hurt us the whole game.”

Jones scored 12 points in the first half, all in the paint while shooting 6 for 9 from the field in setting an early tone. He was 11 for 18 from the field in finishing a point shy of matching his career high.

Jones added three assists for San Antonio, who had 27 as a team.


Pistons: Saddiq Bey remained on the court holding his jersey over his face as the Spurs ran a play with nine minutes left in the game after taking a hard screen. Bey rose to run up the court after San Antonio failed to score. He remained in the game, scoring 10 points in 25 minutes. … Detroit is 6-18 on the road this season. The Pistons were 10-31 away from home last season. … Bogdanovic was 2 for 7 on 3-pointers, surpassing Baron Davis in career 3s. Bogdanovic is 57th in league history with 1,333 3-pointers and Davis is 58th with 1,332.

Spurs: Johnson entered the game averaging a team-high 21.6 points, followed by Vassell at 19.4. Tre Jones is third in scoring at 12.8. Johnson finished with eight points in 12 minutes. … F Isaiah Roby started the second half in place of Johnson. Roby averaged 8 minutes while playing in 11 of the Spurs’ 14 games in December. … Jones reached 500 career assists in his third season and first as a starter. Tony Parker, Alvin Robertson, Johnny Moore, Johnny Dawkins, Willie Anderson are the only players in franchise history to reach 500 assists quicker.


Johnson may have injured his hamstring, but his vocal cords are sound.

Johnson was screaming in celebration from the locker room as the game ended and only got louder as his teammates entered.

“Trigger Tre! Trigger Tre!” Johnson screamed.

The origin of the nickname is unknown to Jones.

“I don’t know, you have got to ask Keldon about that one,” Jones said, chuckling. “He yells a lot of crazy things.”


Pistons: Host Philadelphia on Sunday.

Spurs: Host Boston on Saturday.


AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Jones helps Spurs overcome injuries, Pistons to end skid